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21 July, 2021

Route 1 addresses driver shortages issues

Route 1 do not advocate sticking plaster solutions, but instead believe we should be attempting to find a long-term solution to a problem that has been increasing year on year.

Part of our remit at Route 1 is to help properly address the current UK’s driver shortage issue, by attracting drivers through a positive recruitment process, via good working terms and conditions and continue to assist training and upskilling of HGV drivers.

The Government recently introduced a temporary extension of working hours for lorry drivers, with HGV drivers being able to increase their daily driving limits from 9 to 10 hours or change their weekly rest patterns on a Monday. If the conditions have not changed, working more hours does not make it a better job. There are more pressures being placed on operations to ensure timed deliveries, regardless of sector - food, manufacturing, parcels.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps believes that it will give drivers more flexibility to make slightly longer trips, however, a number a of authoritative bodies in the area, including Unite, Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association have spoken against this – likening it to a sticking plaster on the situation.

Their concerns range from adding further pressure on drivers who are already stretched to the limit to deliver, the dangers that drivers put themselves in if they are too tired to drive safely, and their legal right to refuse. As well as making the profession less attractive to potential drivers.

It has been reported that 30,000 HGV driving tests did not take place last year because of the Covid pandemic and the Road Haulage Association believes there is currently a shortfall of about 60,000 lorry drivers.

Mr Shapps has said the government has "ramped up" the number of driving tests available and would consider other measures.

James Firth, of Logistics UK “Existing drivers have been working flat out since the start of the pandemic, and this could be the final straw for many of them.”

Jonathan Gilbert, Managing Director of Route 1 says “We care about our People, not only the candidates that work with us on temporary assignments, but also those that we place in permanent roles. Everyone deserves to have a job with reasonable conditions, without the expectation of the only way to make a decent living, is to work 60+ hours a week.”

Driver shortages jeopardise deliveries to supermarkets and across other sectors.

As the economy reopens the haulage industry is just one of several sectors reported to have trouble finding suitable staff.

Route 1 are here to help you to recruit drivers and/or assist you apply for driving positions.

We can also assist potential applicants become qualified and trained for driving positions.

Please get in touch with our Driving team to discuss any driver vacancies. Whether they be temporary daily assignments or fulltime requirements Keith and Rachel can help. Contact them at or call directly on 01924 261 636.